Hyderabad: The Cybercrime wing of the Cyberabad Police on Thursday arrested five members of the notorious Gang of Mira Road on charges of a SIM swap fraud.
The gang was into this technique of SIM swap since 2011 to get access to net banking credentials of victims and siphon off funds from their accounts, police said, adding that the leader of the gang was operating from abroad and was a Nigerian national.
According to Cyberabad Police Commissioner VC Sajjanar, the police had got a complaint from a victim who said he had taken a new SIM card but could make only outgoing calls. He contacted the service provider’s customer care and complained and they resolved the issue.
Later, he tried to login to his internet banking account, and got to know that someone had changed his login and password. He also found that his account was emptied. On visiting the bank, he found some unknown persons made three Immediate Payment Service (IMPS) transactions and siphoned off Rs.4.25 lakh from his account by swapping his SIM card without his knowledge. Another complainant lost Rs.6.75 lakh in almost similar fashion.
On investigation, police found that the gang, James, a Nigerian national who is now absconding, along with Chandrakant Siddhanth Kamble, Zameer Ahmed Munir Sayyed, Shoaib Sheikh (absconding), Adil Hassan Ali Sayyed, Junaid Ahmed Shaik, and Ashwin Narayana Sharegar, all from Mira Road, Mumbai, were behind the SIM swap fraud.
Police said James hacked net banking credentials of targets through phishing mails in the name of IT returns. He then hired blockers (who take new replaced SIM cards for blocked SIM cards) from West Bengal and Maharashtra and who also collected replaced SIM cards of mobile numbers registered with bank accounts of his targets. Using OTPs received on the mobile number, he transferred funds to bank accounts provided by blockers. He later collected the cheated amount through bitcoins or hawala.